TEL AVIV (Jul. 19)
The latest opinion poll showed Premier Yitzhak Shamir and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres running neck-and-neck in popularity while their respective parties–Likud and Labor — each picked up support among voters.
According to the poll, conducted by the Dahaf organization and published in Yediot Achronot Friday, Shamir was given a 63-35 percent approval rating, with Peres at 63-36 percent. The most popular politician, however, was Finance Minister Moshe Nissim, a Likud-Liberal with a 67-30 percent approval rating.
Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a Laborite, had a favorable rating of 62-36 percent.
The standings of the two principal coalition partners improved. The poll indicated that if elections were held now, Labor would win 47 Knesset seats compared to 44 according to a poll taken last month, and Likud would increase from 37 to 40 seats. The Tehiya Party dropped in voter approval from eight to five seats. The National Religious Party was up from five to six and Rabbi Meir Kahane’s Kach Party down from three to one Knesset mandate. Shinui dropped from four to two seats.
The standings of the other parties were unchanged since the June poll. But the idea of early elections lost ground. The latest poll showed that Labor would lose two Knesset seats to Likud if it were responsible for early elections. If Tehiya precipitated early elections it would lose one seat to Likud.